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Episodes

Among the many curiosities you'll find in the Episodes table below is this little tidbit: From Season Two through Season Six, the lowest-rated Final 3 episode (AI5's, at 54.7) outpolled the highest-rated Finale (AI2's, 54.0). But upon further review, we suppose that's not all that surprising. AI Finales tend to be ragged affairs comprising 83 separate commercial breaks, a few reprise performances, and those always-popular American Idol Original Winners' Songs™, which the staff at WNTS.com is convinced are secretly written by saboteurs hired by rival networks.

On the other hand, a Final 3 episode is truly Must-See TV: three contestants, three songs apiece, and two tickets to the Kodak Theater on the line. Each contestant is fresh off an emotional trip home, and each is forced, for the first time since the Hollywood Round, to perform at least one song not of his or her own choosing. The pressure has to be suffocating, but by and large the Idols have risen to the challenge: nine 5-star performances (including 90-plus ones from Bo Bice and Katharine McPhee), 13 at 4-stars, and just two clocking in at 1-star. The Final Three are usually in it to win it.

As for the rest of the episodes, about the only advice we can offer is this: never try to predict whether or not a show will be any good based on its theme. As evidence, take a look at some of the themes of the highest-rated episodes below.

[back to top] American Idol  Episodes

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# Date Episode / Theme #Cn #Pf Average Rating Hi Lo σ 0-19 20-39 40-59 60-79 80-100
101 42082 Mar 19, 2015
Songs from the Cinema
11 11
43.8
 
83 5 14.5 2 3 2 3 1
102 42116 Apr 22, 2015
Arena Anthems
6 12
49.6
 
88 15 20.9 1 3 4 3 1
103 42123 Apr 29, 2015
Judges Hometown / What I Am
4 8
53.9
 
72 35 23.1 0 2 3 3 0
104 42136 May 12, 2015
Finale
2 6
60.5
 
87 18 19.8 1 0 1 3 1
105 42417 Feb 17, 2016
Open
12 12
43.1
 
73 24 23.1 0 7 2 3 0
106 42424 Feb 24, 2016
Favorite Performance
10 10
42.2
 
79 14 18.2 1 5 1 3 0
107 42425 Feb 25, 2016
Songs From the Idol Era
10 10
51.8
 
88 15 14.7 1 2 2 3 2
108 42439 Mar 10, 2016
The American Idol Songbook
8 12
48.8
 
85 16 16.1 3 1 4 3 1
109 42453 Mar 24, 2016
Rock / Sia
4 8
61.5
 
92 28 15.1 0 2 1 3 2
110 42460 Mar 31, 2016
Hometown / Scott's / Judges' Choice
4 10
57.1
 
89 17 18.0 1 1 3 3 2
111 42466 Apr 6, 2016
Finale
3 7
65.7
 
90 32 14.9 0 1 1 3 2
112 37432 Jun 25, 2002
Open
10 10
41.0
 
84 15 17.4 3 2 2 2 1
113 37446 Jul 9, 2002
Open
5 5
49.0
 
65 31 20.2 0 1 2 2 0
114 37691 Mar 11, 2003
Motown
12 12
51.3
 
82 29 17.9 0 4 4 2 2
115 37698 Mar 18, 2003
Movie Hits
11 11
53.6
 
90 19 13.5 1 3 2 2 3
116 37726 Apr 15, 2003
Billy Joel
7 7
54.3
 
91 8 14.9 1 1 2 2 1
117 37733 Apr 22, 2003
Diane Warren Songs
6 6
48.0
 
73 14 14.3 1 1 2 2 0
118 37740 Apr 29, 2003
1960s / Neil Sedaka
5 10
60.6
 
93 15 15.2 1 1 3 2 3
119 37747 May 6, 2003
Bee Gees Songs
4 8
53.4
 
87 20 18.3 0 2 3 2 1
120 38027 Feb 10, 2004
Open
8 8
50.9
 
84 25 21.5 0 4 1 2 1
121 38097 Apr 20, 2004
Barry Manilow
7 7
52.3
 
78 18 21.0 1 1 3 2 0
122 38104 Apr 27, 2004
Gloria Estefan
6 6
43.3
 
72 8 16.5 1 3 0 2 0
123 38132 May 25, 2004
Finale
2 6
53.5
 
83 20 12.7 0 2 1 2 1
124 38404 Feb 21, 2005
Open
12 12
48.0
 
84 19 19.5 1 4 4 2 1
125 38405 Feb 22, 2005
Open
12 12
46.7
 
87 13 18.8 1 5 2 2 2
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